ALA names three honorary members

Contact: JoAnne Kempf

Office of ALA Governance

For Immediate Release

March 1, 2008

ALA names three honorary members

(CHICAGO) Pat Mora, Effie Lee Morris and Peggy Sullivan were elected to honorary membership in the American Library Association (ALA) in action taken by the ALA Council at the ALA 2008 Midwinter Meeting, held January 11 to 16 in Philadelphia. Honorary membership, ALA's highest honor, is conferred in recognition of outstanding contributions of lasting importance to libraries and librarianship.

Pat Mora, Latina poet and author, was nominated in recognition of her work on behalf of bilingual reading for children, her establishment of
El día de los niños/El día de los libros
(Children’s Day/Book Day), and her commitment to libraries and the promotion of reading and inclusiveness.

Mora’s books for children and adults have been recognized for their excellence by ALA, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and others. In 2002, the Texas Library Association recognized her as one of “100 Library Champions.”

In 1996, Mora proposed El día de los niños/El día de los libros, also known as “Dia,” to REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking).
Día, now a daily commitment to link all children with books, languages and cultures, culminates annually on April 30 with celebrations around the country that honor the wonders of childhood and the importance of books. Día is sponsored by the Association for Library Service for Children (ALSC) and REFORMA.

Mora, a former teacher and university administrator who advocates sharing “bookjoy,” received an Honorary Doctorate in Letters from SUNY Buffalo in 2006 and will receive an Honorary Doctorate in May from North Carolina State University.
Among her other awards are a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Fellowship.

Effie Lee Morris, former coordinator of children’s services in the San Francisco Public Library, was nominated in recognition for her vision, advocacy and legacy to children’s services in public libraries.

Morris established the first Negro History Week celebration for children at the Cleveland Public Library.
She was the first Children’s Specialist for the Blind at The New York Public Library.
As the first Coordinator of Children’s Services for the San Francisco Public Library, Morris established the Children’s Historical and Research Collection, which was later named for her.
In 1977, the San Francisco Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) established an annual lecture in her name to accompany the collection.

Morris served several terms on the ALA Council.
In 1971, she became the first African-American president of the Public Library Association (PLA).
Morris was an early supporter and chair of the Coretta Scott King Award.

Morris is recipient of the Grolier Award, the WNBA National Book Award for “Extraordinary Contribution to the World of Books,” the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) Trailblazer Award, and the University of San Francisco Reading the World Award.
For community contributions, Morris received the 2000 Silver Spur Award for “Dedication to Enhancing the Quality of Life and Economic Vitality of San Francisco” from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association.

Peggy Sullivan, library consultant, was nominated in recognition of over 50 years of dedicated librarianship during which she wrote the definitive scholarly history of the tenure of Carl Milam (ALA secretary 1920-1946) and the growth of the American Library Association to an international organization.

Highlights of Sullivan’s wide-ranging career include: President of ALA’s Children’s Services Division (now the Association for Library Services to Children – ALSC) (1976-1977), assistant commissioner for extension services at the Chicago Public Library (1977-1981), ALA president (1980-1981), ALA executive director (1992-1994),
Dean of the LIS Program at Rosary College (now Dominican University), Dean of the College of Professional Studies at Northern Illinois University, and numerous university teaching positions.

Sullivan served as director of the Knapp School Libraries Project (1963-1968). This project had great national impact on convincing the public of the need for high quality school library media programs.

Sullivan was the 1991 recipient of ALA’s Joseph W. Lippincott Award, and is a Distinguished Alumnus of both Catholic University and Clarke College.

In 2004, Sullivan established the Sullivan Award for Public Administrators. This award is presented annually to an individual who has shown exceptional understanding and support of public library service to children while having general management/supervisory/administrative responsibility that has included public library service to children in its scope.

The ALSC and PLA are divisions of the ALA. The BCALA and REFORMA are affiliates of the ALA.

The honorees will receive honorary membership plaques in June 2008 during the Opening General Session of the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.